Hyatt shuffles its executive committee to focus on expansion

The Hyatt Centric Guatemala City. Photo credit: Hyatt Hotels Corp. (The changes, expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2018, include the formation of a new commercial services portfolio at the Executive Committee level.)

Mark Hoplamazian, president and CEO of Hyatt Hotels Corporation, announced that Hyatt will realign its corporate leadership team and operations to accelerate its differentiated strategy to care for the high-end traveler with distinctive experiences.

The changes, which are expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2018, include the formation of a new commercial services portfolio at the executive committee-level that will combine guest and customer engagement functions under a new chief commercial officer position. The company is also consolidating managed and franchised hotel operations and owner relations into one portfolio, reporting to Chuck Floyd, global president of operations. The legal and corporate services portfolio is also being realigned under new leadership.

“In order to achieve our growth potential and capitalize on opportunities that come from rapidly emerging consumer, industry and competitive developments, we must be leaner and more agile,” Hoplamazian said in a statement. “This starts at the top with our leadership, and we are making changes to streamline the executive committee and to better enable us to maximize our core hotel business and continue our expansion into new lines of business.”

The organizational changes will allow Hyatt to better focus, prioritize and coordinate its activities driving guest and customer engagement. The chief commercial officer will oversee a portfolio that includes global sales functions, global marketing functions, the global contact centers, and information technology, and it will report directly to Hoplamazian. Hyatt expects to complete the selection process for the chief commercial officer in the second quarter.

As a part of the realignment, two executives have decided to transition out of Hyatt later this year as the organization evolves. Global chief marketing officer Maryam Banikarim and global head of capital strategy, franchising and select service Steve Haggerty will leave Hyatt in the coming months. Their positions will be eliminated upon their departures. Banikarim will continue to lead the marketing organization through the end of April, and Haggerty will remain at Hyatt as a special advisor to the CEO through July focused on executing transactions, among other activities.

“We deeply appreciate the outstanding contributions Maryam and Steve have made to Hyatt and their leadership through this important transition,” Hoplamazian said in a statement. “Maryam transformed the marketing function and leaves us with a legacy of expressing our purpose through our brand position as a company and throughout our communications. Steve has provided tremendous value to Hyatt for nearly 11 years. He led the way in some of the most important steps we’ve taken to build our brand portfolio.”

Hoplamazian also congratulated Margaret Egan on her promotion to general counsel, reporting to him. “Margaret has been part of the Hyatt family for 14 years and has served as interim general counsel since last October. We’re grateful for her expertise and I look forward to her continued leadership,” Hoplamazian said in a statement. “The changes we’re making will better position us to grow with focus to serve our high-end customers and guests in the places and with the experiences that matter most to them.”

No other changes to the executive committee are expected, other than those noted above. The loyalty and new-business platforms area led by Mark Vondrasek, as well as the data, innovation and business transformation area led by Alex Zoghlin, will remain in place. Both Vondrasek and Zoghlin will continue to report directly to Hoplamazian.